How to Build an Emergency Car Kit
Storm Packs is about Helping People. Our motto is Modern Survival Made Simple. We want to use our talents, experiences, and resources to deliver excellent free information and high-quality user-friendly products. Another way we are about Helping People is offering personalized and customized kits that are tailored to specific situations and contexts.
We have built multiple personalized vehicle kits for our clients. The reviews we have received have been awesome. So in this blog, I am going to break down for you how to build an Emergency Car Kit that is comprehensive, compact, and affordable.
Retail value for this kit is $674 – Storm Packs Price $499
That is over 25% less than it costs to build it yourself!
1. Emergency Car Kit Bag: Storm Packs Conversion Bag
This 30L duffle/backpack Conversion bag is our newest creation and we love it. The one common issue with most duffle bags is that there are too many straps. We have minimized the straps and maximized the usability of this particular bag.
The Conversion Bag is made of durable highly water-resistant Tarpaulin material, with a Ripstop nylon cover on the bottom to provide added abrasion resistance. Additionally, that nylon cover conceals two foam-padded backpack straps with quick action buckles that turns your clean duffle into a backpack.
2. Emergency Car Kit Contents
Every vehicle should have a Medkit at the minimum. This is there for you, but also for you to be able to help someone else who might not be able to help themselves.
The Medkit we have chosen for all our packs is both compact and complete for mild trauma injuries. The organization and labeling convention is extremely helpful to find a solution for a particular injury expediently.
Portable Jump Starter NOCO Genius Boost
The worst thing is being over 3000 miles away and receiving a call from my wife that her car is dead and she needs to get the girls to school. In today’s technological world, it is unacceptable for me to not have a portable Jump Starter in the car. Especially, for those times when my six-year-old accidentally leaves the back row light on all night.
We have written an entire review of the NOCO Jump Starter Series. They won’t let you down and are absolutely worth spending a little extra money on.
For my wife’s car, I chose the NOCO Genius Boost 40 which packs 1000AMPs into its initial charge. It is important to ensure that the jump starter you select will pack enough punch for your vehicle's engine. Visit our review for more info on how to select the best NOCO starter.
An air compressor is simply a must-have. Whether the baby stroller needs some extra juice, Stacy’s bike has a flat, or your back left tire is running low, you will be glad you have an air compressor in the car!
For this particular kit I went with a little more expensive digit display air compressor for my wife. You can get these as cheap as $10, but this particular one runs between $30-35.
This little kit is simply awesome. Everything you think you won’t need, that if you need it, you will be so glad you have it, packed into one small organized container.
The Essentials kit has flashlights, wet wipes, glow sticks, emergency blankets, matches, duct tape, a multitool, goggles, air filtration mask, a knife, whistle, 550 chord, and gloves. While some items might seem unnecessary, this little kit could be the difference between being at risk and uncomfortable, or safe and happy.
For full specs on the Essentials Kit, see our listing here.
Nutrition Kit & Stove
The Nutrition Kit is purely a preference item. I personally will always recommend an Emergency Car Kit has some sort of food option. Not only for in the event you get stuck somewhere, but also for the random long road trip where you don’t want to stop but just want a snack!
For my wife’s kit, I included four freeze dried meals and four ready to eat SOS bars. This gives the option for a quick snack, or longer stay meal in the event something bad has happened, or she went camping with the kids and needed an extra meal!
The Stove is another luxury item. Not necessary, but I wanted it in there to boil water for the freeze dried meals, and to provide a potential heat source in the event the car gets stuck in a cold environment. This stove is ultralight and comes with indoor/outdoor burning canisters that last up to 4.5 hours.
Non-negotiable, you need extra water in your car. Whether it is soccer practice, a road trip, a long day at the office, or stranded on Highway 8, you want extra water in your car. Some people just use plastic bottles. That works for the short term, but if they are exposed to the sun then they can become harmful to drink.
The Hydration Kit comes with 12 Emergency Water packs, 2 collapsible water bottles, and 1 Lifestraw water filter. To me, this is a no brainer. Don’t mess with dehydration. Every Emergency Car Kit should have water in it!
For an emergency car kit, sleeping bags are somewhat a luxury item as long as you already have emergency blankets. I decided to put the Storm Sleeping bags in my wife’s kit for two main reasons.
First, my kids love them and have giant smiles on their faces when we let them open up a sleeping bag.
Second, because if she ever got stuck in a cold environment, or came upon someone else who needed something a little warmer, it is a quick easy solution to that problem.
The Storm Sleeping bags are highly compressible. They are made from water-resistant nylon which helps them trap heat, giving them a 48 Degree rating at half of the normal pack size. For our car, we wanted to include them, but absolutely a luxury item.
Emergency Car Kit Additions
Lastly, two specific items that I put in strategic places in my wife’s van.
My guess is that the majority of people do not have fire extinguishers in their vehicles. The average price on Amazon is about $20. Simply put, it is unacceptable to not have a fire extinguisher in your car for $20.
I have both been in an incident where a vehicle caught on fire while driving, and I have personally seen, on two separate occasions, a vehicle burst into flames while driving on the freeway.
For $20, every person should keep a fire extinguisher in their car. A great place is either under the driver or passage seat.
Jack & Tire Cross
An emergency car kit doesn’t have to come with a Jack and Tire cross since most cars come with them. But I highly recommend checking your Jack and Tire cross to ensure they are both functional and the right fit for the vehicle.
I bought a vehicle used, and never checked the jack or tire cross until it was too late. The factory jack was missing and was replaced with a used rusted out jack that neither fit the design of the vehicle nor could be properly operated. What could have been a simple tire change, left myself, my pregnant wife, and two kids, stranded for over an hour during rush hour on the free.
And that is it! I am sure others have some additional thoughts, so lets hear them in the comments below!